Last updated on: 12/23/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

Julie Holland, MD Biography

Title:
Board Certified Psychiatrist
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“But this really is a medicine. There really are, you know, this is a medicinal plant with a lot of potential to help a lot of different patients. But one of the things that people need to learn more about is there’s a lot of constituent molecules in cannabis. There’s over 400 components, and there’s over 60 what are called cannabanoids.

And some of them help different symptoms. And there’s THC, and there’s something called CBD, which is a really interesting molecule I would like people to learn more about, and I never knew what CBD was. But it’s cannabidiol. This is something that actually is not psychoactive. It doesn’t make you high or giddy. But it helps to decrease anxiety. It may be helpful for decreasing psychosis. It doesn’t cause the memory issues that THC caused.

And if you get certain strains of cannabis with a different THC-CBD ratio, the higher CBD strains end up helping more it’s an anti-inflammatory. It’s a free-radical scavenger. So it’s an antioxidant. And the most fascinating thing that I learned that I really want everybody to understand is that there are some anti-cancer properties to cannabis, that it can trigger the cell death of cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact, and it can decrease what’s called angiogenesis, which is you know, when a tumor is growing, it sends out these chemicals telling the blood vessels, you know, we need more blood here. And that’s angiogenesis. And cannabis can interrupt that and stop the blood supply to the tumors.”

Interview with Ira Flatow, “‘Pot Book’ Explores History And Science Of Marijuana,” NPR.org, Oct. 15, 2010

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
     Key Experts
Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Board certified psychiatrist, private practice, 1996-present
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
  • Weekend Director, psychiatric emergency room of Bellevue Hospital, 1996-2005
  • Recipient, National Institute of Mental Health, Outstanding Resident Award, 1994
  • Psychiatric residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center, 1992-1996
Education:
  • MD, Temple University School of Medicine, 1992
  • BA, University of Pennsylvania, 1987
Other:
  • Lives with her husband and two children in the Hudson Valley in New York
  • Has been quoted in TIME, Harper’s, Slate, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal
  • Has appeared on Today Show, Good Morning America, and programs on CNN, MTV, VH1, and more